Step Up for Kids


The 21st annual AON Step Up for Kids event is right around the corner! Each year, we call upon our Produce Alliance family to get involved and make the climb to make a difference. 

On January 28, 2018, Step Up for Kids participants will climb 80 floors to the top of the Aon Center, one of Chicago's tallest buildings, to raise funds for the well-being of patients and families at Lurie Children’s Hospital.

This year, we were lucky enough to further our partnership with Lurie Children’s and hear the incredible story of one very special former patient.

On December 7th 2017, Chef Steph, Produce Alliance/Ruby Robinson’s corporate chef, joined Chauncy Hood, a high school senior, heart transplant survivor, aspiring chef and restaurant owner, and overall incredible human being, putting on a one-of-kind culinary demonstration in the PA test kitchen. 

While putting the finishing touches on delicious dishes, Chef Steph and Chef Chauncy shared their kitchen knowledge and passions with an attentive audience. Chef Chauncy described his experiences in the Lurie Children's Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) and how he was able to use his culinary dreams to stay focused while waiting for a donor heart to become available. 

Chef Chauncy also stayed busy during his hospital stay by writing down his favorite recipes so he wouldn’t forget them. Ultimately, the collection of recipes was published as a limited edition book,“Chauncy Show You the Chops,” which he gave for donations from his hospital room to help other patients.

In August 2017, great news arrived for Chef Chauncy and his family as a heart became available and he was able to undergo successful transplant surgery. 

Thank you so very much to Chef Chauncy, his family, and group of nurses for joining us at this special event. It’s stories and children like Chauncy that are the reason that we support Lurie Children's Hospital and participate in the Step Up For Kids event every year. 


Cooking is a great way to express your creativity," says Chauncy Hood, a high school senior with a passion for cooking and dreams of opening his own fine dining restaurant. Those dreams helped Chauncy stay focused during the three months he spent in Lurie Children's Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) waiting for a donor heart to become available. Finally in August, a heart became available, and he underwent successful transplant surgery.


Enjoy this one-of-kind culinary demonstration and collaboration featuring Produce Alliance's very own Corporate Chef Steph, and Chef Chauncy, a resilient heart transplant survivor. Produce Alliance & the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital team up to support Step Up for Kids in event to build healthier futures for kids, like Chauncy